8.06.2017

LIKE MOTHS TO THE FLAME :: The Mothman Prophecies - RETROSPECTIVE

The Mothman Prophecies - RESTROSPECTIVE
The Mothman Prophecies - RETROSPECTIVE

You might have heard about all the Mothman type sightings in Chicago lately, something like 30 in the last 3 years all over the city.

If you don't know what the Mothman is - to try to sum it up is hard, but witnesses describe a dark bat or moth type figure, with red eyes. The folklore started in West Virginia originally. There have been books and movies made on the subject.

I'm as skeptical as they get on some things, but this mystery is close to my heart, I guess. Is this a shared psychosis? Do we really know that there aren't entities just beyond what we perceive? I thought I might go back to the movie again today, and I was really astonished at how good it was. It stars Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Deborah Messing, and Will Patton. Gere has that acting style that only Richard Gere can do, but his portrayal as an obsessed person was better than usual for him. Laura Linney was great at playing the voice of reason - even when there was none to be made. Messing had a small roll as Gere's wife - who dies right in the beginning after seeing a Mothman.

I've got to say the best acting in the movie was Patton as Gordon - who was being constantly visited and tormented. Talk about a character of neurosis - he pulled that one off big time.

The story stayed pretty close to the original reportings though 40 years later ... which kept it interesting and the musical score was bordering on very tense yet experimental. Mark Pellington directed it. He also did Arlington Road - top notch movie, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous - along with a Pearl Jam movie and U23D. It seems he likes to mix it up a little bit. Maybe I'll even watch Jerry Maguire next - I never saw that stinker of a movie.

Definitely check out the movie - the myth, the legend. Positivity and love to all my peeps in Chicago - Rahm is one disaster too many!



8.03.2017

KAMA SPEWTRA :: SEX THE RAPPER + MISS CHIFF (Interview)

SEX THE RAPPER
So, I'm here tonight with Sex the Rapper aka J-X aka my friend Julian Lozano and Miss Chiff aka Marilyn Reles. Julian, I first met a few years ago. I was co-managing a collective in Chicago - Solarium Deluna and Julian was always a spotlight on the regular events.

Julian, do you remember those nights, hot summer nights with no air conditioning? I held a fan a lot of times to cool the place down.

Julian - Yeah, I Remember that.

I remember you were always slaying it. I loved picking tracks for you to freestyle over.

Julian - Your invite randomly introduced me to the Chicago conscious community.

No shit?
We were trying to definitely keep it conscious and comfortable there. So, I have to say - it's my honor to see you've progressed and like a butterfly, transform since then, many times in fact. Can we take it back for a bit? Tell me a little about your childhood and where you grew up.


Julian - I grew up in the Chicago suburb of Roselle.
I was a writer as a child and used to write science fiction stories.
Then, I just started writing rap lyrics in about 6th grade, and haven't stopped since then

So, always a wordsmith?

Julian - Always. Vocabulary words were easy to learn for me.

Were your parents musicians?

Julian - My parents weren't musicians. They liked to listen to Bob Marley and 90's mainstream rap. Also, a lot of Mexican music and Latin music in general.

Are there any 90's hip hop artists that really affected you?

Julian - Ironically, the first rapper I actually liked as a child was Juvenile who sang "back that ass up". Then I got into Eminem.

Ha-ha yasss! So you were writing lyrics from early on, what age did you start performing?

Julian - I started performing when I was about 18. At that time I was way into Tech N9ne and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

So did you always know this would be your path or when did it hit you?

Julian - I've been rapping since 9 years old, but I knew I was gonna be this since I was 11, and I sucked ass when I started. I couldn't even ride the beat.

That's intuition!

Julian -Yes!

Well, if I can be so honest - you've come along way - you can rap as fast as Twista or Eminem, but you talk about real shit.

Julian -Yeah I remember being blown away by Tech N9ne like I could never do that
Now look at me!

OK, so you were coming up, you've gone through some changes and you started producing as J-X, am I right?

Julian -I started rapping as J-X. I changed it to JXL in 2015, then changed it to Sex The Rapper in 2016.

You put out some really good stuff, including "You are not a slave" with our good friend Carla Starla and Rico Sisney.



Julian -Yeah, those songs were dope.

So this is probably the question that you get asked the most - Why Sex the Rapper?

Julian - It's about channeling sexual energy to create, and with the addition of Marilyn it even makes more sense.

I totally get it. Sex has also been a negative connotation for years, due to puritanism mainly.

Julian - Yeah, so it's been a challenge, but more people are cool with it than I expected.

But, it might be the most explosive power ever, right?

Julian - Exactly.

As, Sex the Rapper, you've been on the road, yes?

Julian -Yeah, a bit.

Tell me what festivals and cities you've played.

Julian - We played boredom fest in Michigan. The hangar in Miami, so far in San Francisco and I personally did Huffington Post in New York City. Shit is lit!

And you have another project yeah? More EDM?

Julian - Yeah, we are going to move more EDM into the next album.

Cool. I want to talk about one of your latest tracks - Never Going Back. First of all, the song and video are phenomenal.

Julian -Thank you man



Can you explain a little bit about what that song means to you?

Julian - Well I used to be on a lot of drugs and hang out with toxic people. This song is a celebration of being past all that on a new path

"never going back to all the bullshit"

Julian - Exactly!

I've always appreciated and saw you as an example to reaching for enlightenment.

Julian - I'm not even really trying to be enlightened. I used to be obsessed with that concept, but I don't strive for that anymore. I just live as balanced as possible.

On your latest album, you have a few songs with Miss Chiff. Are you two a couple?

Julian - Yes. We are a couple

You've done a few songs together on your new album ... tell me how is it to share what you love with someone you love?



Julian - It's amazing. We have been together for well over a year now and we performed separately for a while. One day, she backed me up at a LIVE show and people really loved it. It made sense to us to combine our acts and so, we decided to do it.

That sounds amazing!

Marilyn - Yeah it's been awesome working together because we complement each other well.

Yes, you do.

Marilyn - Thank you! I managed him for a long time and now I manage us! Lol

So, here's an open speed round ... 10 seconds or less for you both.

Julian - Lit

Why do you love hip hop?

Marilyn - How can you not love it?

Julian - Because it's sexy lol.

Marilyn - Because it moves me more than any other genre.

Nice! What's your favorite pie?

Marilyn - Chocolate Eclair

Julian - Cutie pie

Lol

Marilyn -Lol

Where will music be in 10 years?

Marilyn - It'll be void of genres

Julian - I agree. But I believe the future genres will just be hybrids of current genres.

Marilyn - Yeah, blends of each other.

So the same but in a different way.

Julian - Yes

What do you expect listeners to get out of your music?

Marilyn - I hope they can take something positive and inspirational out of the music and implement it into their own lives.

Julian - I want my music to be a fire under people's asses to make them love themselves.

Well the spark is definitely lit. I see nothing but forward movement for you both.

Anything either you want to close with?

Marilyn - Thanks! I'm just really excited about the music to come. We are beginning our work on a joint album. Being in LA has given us the breathe of fresh air we needed in order to grow as artists.

Julian - Yeah thank you so much man. Marilyn and I are looking forward to our fans reaction to the music we have in store.

Nice ... thanks for sharing tonight, both of you!

Check out more of Sex the Rapper and Miss Chiff:
















BONUS: Lava Labs production -








Stay in gear and channel your sex energy!

Noble


7.15.2017

EFFING FANTASTIC :: Ef - Sons of Ghosts

Ef - Sons of Ghosts
Ef - Sons of Ghosts

Ef is an amazing band from Sweden. Sons of Ghost pretty much proves my point. While mostly instrumental, this song has the perfect lyrics at the perfect time ... then the driving horns. Oh the horns, how they blow. Music is life my friends, stay thirsty.


4.27.2017

CLASSICAL MUSIC :: Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers

Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers
Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers



The bad thing about insomnia is ... well, sleep is necessary - the good thing is finding gems like this at 4 am. There's no words I can use to write about this. Two of the greatest groups ever ... together. I am ODB, I am the Walrus!



1. Wu Vs Beatles (Intro) - 00:00
2. C.R.E.A.M. - 01:30
3. Got Your Money - 04:50
4. Forget Me Not - 08:33
5. Back in the Game - 12:42
6. Uh Huh - 17:30
7. Criminology - 21:02
8. Da Mystery Of Chessboxin' - 24:13
9. Daytona 500 - 26:15
10. Labels - 29:35
11. Smith Bros - 32:25
12. R.E.C. Room - 34:03
13. Wu Vs Beatles (Skit) - 37:32
14. Mighty Heathy - 38:45
15. Clientele Kidd - 41:57
16. Cutting It Up - 44:47
17. Release Yo Delf - 47:58
18. City High - 50:55
19. Run - 53:07
20. Cross My Heart - 55:44
21. Uzi (Pinky Ring) - 57:51
22. Bizarre - 1:02:28
23. Slang Editorial - 1:04:00
24. Save Me Dear - 1:06:05
25. The Movement - 1:09:08
26. Wu Tang Cream Team Line Up - 1:11:44
27. Wu Vs Beatles (Outro) - 1:15:12



CINEMA LOVE: Why Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors

Michael Mann
Michael Mann


Michael Mann just might be my favorite director right now, not because of anything new but by revisiting his older flicks. Last of the Mohicans, Heat,
The Insider, Manhunter .... I could go on and on. For my money, Mann is the master of modern noir. Heat and The Insider are two perfect examples. I recently watched both and let me explain why I think they might be his finest works.

Heat is the quintessential obsessed cop (Al Pacino) vs. criminal mastermind (Robert Deniro). As the movie builds and the tension mounts, the two opposites (although very similar) are thrown into a situation where they agree to meet. They lay it all on the table - there is no more ambiguity. Deniro makes two rookie mistakes. First is falling in love, which goes against his mantra - "do not get into anything you can't walk out on in 30 seconds" and revenge. The movie plays from there - but I won't give anymore away. This is an excellent movie - one of the best.

Even better was The Insider. This movie is very similar and yet very different. The tension is racked up tremendously through out. The basic story - Russell Crowe plays a tobacco executive with insider information who is fired, pissed off and the runs across Al Pacino who plays a 60 minutes reporter looking for the important stories. Crowe ultimately goes along to get the story out but not without consequence. The foe in this one is largely unseen. It's the corporations and the lawyers who hide behind nonchalant threats. Eventually, the whole process takes Crowe along for the ride. This is a must see movie - the score, shooting, casting ... everything is incredible!

There are many more great Mann movies out there, but having recently watched these, I felt compelled to share. Most newer movie directors out there lack the patience and the discipline to make great art. You could almost write a piece of software to do a better job.




2.25.2017

I'M NOT YOUR :: Minor Threat - Steppin' Stone

Minor Threat - Steppin' Stone
Minor Threat - Steppin' Stone
In high school, my good friends Todd Burdette, Paul Burdette and Billy Davis performed in the annual talent show. They did a cover of a cover of a cover - Steppin' Stone which has been covered from everyone such as Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Monkees and Minor Threat to the Sex Pistols and Tom Petty. They didn't win but I believe that they did place high. Coincidentally - Todd, Paul and Billy went on to play in many famous hard and crust core bands including Copout and Tragedy.

2.21.2017

WITH PULP :: Orange Juice - Rip it Up

Orange Juice - Rip it Up
Orange Juice - Rip it Up
Post-punk Glaswegian band Orange Juice broke the mold with their 1982 single "Rip It Up". The song reached number 8 on the UK charts and was not only a major departure from their guitar driven sound but also  the first hit to use the Roland TB-303 synthesizer.